The Healing Voices
Who are our contributors?
Survivors, family members, clergy, religious nuns and brothers, scholars, clinicians, and educators.
They all share a willingness to write about their personal spiritual experience of the wounds to faith – and the efforts to heal.
Kathleen Hope Brown
Rev. Quinn Conners, O.Carm.
Rev. Quinn Conners, O.Carm., Ph.D., is a Carmelite of the Chicago Province and a clinical psychologist. He serves on the leadership team at Saint Luke Institute, is prior and director of formation at the Carmelites’ Whitefriars Hall in Washington, DC, teaches part-time in the School of Theology & Religious Studies at Catholic University, and has been director of novices and provincial.Additional ministries included principal of Mt. Carmel High School in Los Angeles and as psychotherapist, spiritual director and part-time faculty member at Washington Theological Union. He has led workshops internationally in the areas of psychology and spirituality, sexuality, vocational discernment and the first five years of ministry.
Amy Cordon has served as the Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection and Victim Assistance in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana since 2007. She holds a BA in Psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University. Professionally, she has completed specialized training in the prevention and management of aggressive behavior and in investigations. Cordon has volunteered over 15 years in international medical missions, specifically in the areas of logistics, translations and medical equipment procurement and placement in Mexico, Honduras, Bonaire and El Salvador. She has worked many years in her local community as a qualified mental health case manager, serving chronic mentally ill, youth and young adults and geriatric populations. Prior to her appointment as the Director, Office of Child and Youth Protection and Victim Assistance, she served eight years in Catholic health care providing mental health assessments, care planning and bereavement services. She is a member of the Child and Youth Protection Leadership Advisory Committee.
Mary Jane Doerr
Mary Jane Doerr holds a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences from Nazareth College, Kalamazoo, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She has more than twenty years’ experience as an educator as a classroom teacher, an elementary school principal, and a college instructor. She joined the Diocese of Kalamazoo in 1994 where she worked in stewardship and development. In 2003, she was appointed Safe Environment Coordinator for the diocese and in 2006 was promoted to director of the Safe Environment Office. She was named the associate director in the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2008- 2016. In 2016 she joined the Archdiocese of Chicago as Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, overseeing all compliance issues related to the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo Dos Santos
Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo dos Santos, a native of Brazil, is an expert in the rehabilitation of youth from drug addiction and abuse. In 1983, together with Father Hans Stapel OFM, he founded the Fazenda da Esperança center, in the city of Guarantiguetà, in the State of São Paulo in Brazil.
The focus of Nelson Giovanelli’s work is to assist the victims of different types of addictions and violence that come from some of the poorest areas of Brazil. He has accompanied victims of various forms of physical abuse, substance abuse and vulnerable adults on a path of recovery and healing. The Fazenda’s approach to rehabilitation is rooted in community support and social reconciliation.
Already in 2007 the project had branched out to several other Brazilian States and other countries in the world including Russia, the Philippines, Mozambique, Germany, Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay, Argentina, today Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Poland , Belgium, France, Angola, Cabo Verde, Quenia, South Africa.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited this community in a sign of support for the Fazenda’s outreach to society’s marginalized.
In 2018, Pope Francis appointed him as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Rev. Larry Dowling
Fr. Larry Dowling, has been a priest since 1991, served as pastor at St. Denis Parish on the southwest side of Chicago for 10 years and now has been serving at St. Agatha for nine years, each time following a pastor who had been abusing children and youth. He served on the Archdiocesan Review Board for 7 years and currently serves on the Archdiocesan Healing Garden Committee.
Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, O.S.F.S.
Fr. Fiorelli offers workshops, retreats and spiritual guidance to survivors, their families and those who minister to them in the diocese of Arlington, Virginia. He taught dogmatic theology and Salesian spirituality in the Washington DC area before being elected as 10th Superior General of the Oblates. He has served as chaplain to several Salesian lay groups and is the Auxiliary Religious Assistant to the monasteries of the Order of the Visitation in the United States. In 2007, Fr. Fiorelli was appointed to General Formation Coordinator for the Oblate Congregation. He has led retreats for survivors of clergy abuse and presented many workshops to priests, nuns and others seeking to offer spiritual guidance and support to survivors of abuse by clergy and others in authority.
Child Protection as Survivor Ministry
Veronica’s Veil: Spiritual Companionship for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse – Integrating Faith with Recovery, A Christ-Centered Support for Healing from Child Abuse (with Teresa Pitt Green)
The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales: On Prayer
The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales: On Our Lady
The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales: For Lent
The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales: For Advent and Christmas
Deacon Phil Franco, PhD
Deacon Phil Franco, PhD, has been an ordained deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn since 2015 and is a survivor of clergy abuse. His sermon, And Jesus Wept, was first preached (and broadcast by the Diocese of Brooklyn) on April 26, 2017 from St. Anselm’s Church in Brooklyn, New York.
Teresa Pitt Green
Founder, editor and contributor, Teresa Pitt Green an internationally renowned writer and speaker. As the adult survivor of child sexual abuse by a series of priests, she focuses her work on integrating faith into a full-person recovery from abuse and trauma. Founder and director of Spirit Fire with Luis A. Torres, Jr., she promotes Christian restorative justice where child sexual abuse and other trauma has wounded individuals, families, and groups in a faith setting. More.
Healing Voices articles <<< need to link to a search-results page for my articles in the magazine
Veronica’s Veil: Spiritual Companionship for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse – Integrating Faith with Recovery, A Christ-Centered Support for Healing from Child Abuse (with Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS)
Restoring Sanctuary: A Chronicle of Encounters on My Path Back to Catholicism
Roy A. Harley
Roy A. Harley is Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, the chartered state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. He has a BA from the University of Toledo, Ohio, an MA in Anthropology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Quincy University. His 40 years of experience in child abuse prevention includes 17 years as Executive Director of the local Child Abuse Council in Moline, Illinois. He has been involved in several statewide initiatives including Child Death Review Teams, the Citizens Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Healthy Families Illinois, the Prevention Resource Development Project, and Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocates. Mr. Harley has served on the Erin’s Law Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children and was the Illinois recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner’s Award in 2003. He and his wife Patricia reside in Springfield. They have five adult children, nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
Jim Hmurovich is a former Deputy Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Correction as well as a former State Welfare Director in Indiana. He then served as President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America for ten years, retiring in 2016. A tireless advocate for the safety of children and young people, Mr. Hmurovich has spoken and written widely, including for the Huffington Post.
Michael D. Hoffman
Founder, editor and contributor, Mike Hoffman, is a devoted husband and father to two teen-aged children. He is an international speaker promoting child protection in current-day settings and advocating for survivors of abuse. He is also an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest. Mike is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse – Illinois, and has published a book entitled, Acts of Recovery – The Story of One Man’s On-Going Healing from Sexual Abuse by a Priest. Executive with the orthopedic company he founded, Mike volunteers at his local parish, St. Mary of the Woods, on the Liturgy Committee and as lector; he is also the past President of the school Athletic Board. Mike serves as Chair for the Hope and Healing Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago – a group of clergy abuse survivors, priests and staff from the Archdiocese who reach out to victims/survivors and their family members as an aid to healing. Mike plays a leadership role in planning and hosting several annual Pinwheels for Prevention Plantings, prayer services, and Masses—as well as coaching others who wish to do so. He was chair of the committee, which brought survivors, clergy and diocesan staff together, responsible for building a Healing Garden in the center of Chicago.
Healing Voices articles < link to a search-results page for Mike Hoffman articles in the magazine
Founder, prayer-poetess and regular contributor, Sooz Jeson, has a special calling to share the instruments of healing in her own faith story by sharing a blend of poetry and prayer to liberate, heal, and bring us closer to God who has sustained us and our faith. Sooz is currently testing a beta version of a program for healing through creativity and prayer. More about Sooz may be found here.
Healing Voices articles << to search page on her articles
Shattered Soul: Five Steps to Spiritual Healing After Abuse (I’ll send a link later)
Deborah Kloos, RN. BScN, is a resident of Windsor, Ontario, and a survivor of child abuse by clergy. She works as a nurse in the neo-natal ward of Hutzel Women’s Hospital in Detroit who cares for sick babies born to crack-addicted mothers. Over the years, Mrs. Kloos has made rosaries and dedicated prayers and Masses for each member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She initiated and promoted the idea of a day of prayer for people wounded by abuse which was ultimately adopted by Pope Francis. A piece of artwork by Mrs. Kloos was presented to Pope Francis by Marie Collins, Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Rev. Hans Zollner, who is the chairman of the steering committee for the Center for Child Protection of the Institute of Psychology at the Pontifical Gregorian University it Rome. Mrs. Kloos is married and a mother who sings in the choir of her parish. Mrs. Kloos’s belief in the healing role of prayer has been covered in the Windsor Star and the National Catholic Register.
Round Table: The Resignation of Collins from the Pontifical Commission
Requiescat in Pace
Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate, was born and grew up in a small German-American town in southern Indiana. He is the author of twenty-six books, including Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing, his eleventh full-length poetry collection. Krapf has received the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Glick Indiana Author Award for the body of his work, including Catholic Boy Blues, and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. For more information about Krapf and his work with survivors, see www.krapfpoetry.com.
Peter Lukes has been a practitioner of water therapy for over 15 years. He has studied at the Harbin School of Shiatsu and Massage with Watsu originator Harold Dull and other excellent teachers. Having completed WABA certification as a Watsu practitioner, Mr. Lukes continues to explore Watsu as well as underwater aquatic bodywork, through private sessions, explorer path gatherings, and classes. The relaxation, exploration and healing of both body and mind that continually flow from this work fill Peter with wonder and gratitude.
Eileen Mathy (Unander)
Eileen Mathy, a survivor of clergy abuse, is married with a blended family of 13 grown children, including six of whom were adopted through the child welfare system. Ms. Mathy now manages a private practice to provide quality care for all regardless of ability to pay.
Bridget is an Irish immigrant, lifelong Catholic, wife, and mother with education and work experience in early childhood education. She has earned certification and is commissioned as a Spiritual Director in the Diocese of Peoria. She founded St. Brigid’s Well which is a center for spiritual growth and development in Urbana Il.
Patricia Mudd, at the time of publication, was the Victim Assistance Coordinator in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. She received a BA from St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Maryland and MSW from Catholic University of America. Mrs. Mudd worked for Catholic Charities in Arlington as Program Director of Children’s Services and Associate Director of Social Services. In 2004, she was asked to take on the role of Victim Assistance Coordinator. Mrs. Mudd is married, the mother of three adult children and six grandchildren.
Charlene and Rick Niemi
Charlene Niemi, RN, MSN, PhD, is a nurse who has been researching forgiveness and other characteristics in survivors of abuse. Her husband, Rick Niemi, contributed to this reflection as inspiration and co-author.
Deacon Bernie Nojadera
Bernie Nojadera is the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He prior has worked with the Diocese of San Jose as the director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults for close to ten years and is a permanent deacon for the Diocese of San Jose, married with two adult children.
Founder and regular contributor, Kathy O’Connell, is a practicing Catholic who grew up on the North side of Chicago. Attending a Catholic school for twelve years of her life, she was a victim of abuse. Kathy has three grown children and recently retired from her job at a Catholic school to be able to enjoy her grandchildren… (full bio here).
Healing Voices articles <<< need to link to a search-results page for her articles in the magazine
Robert A. Orsi
Dr. Robert A. Orsi, PhD, is Professor of Religious Studies and History and Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University. His award-winning 2006 Princeton University Press book, Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them, was followed by his 2015 Harvard University Press book entitled History and Presence, whose last chapter concerns survivors’ religious experiences and understandings. Since 2112, Dr. Orsi has been researching the experience of survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy, interviewing hundreds of adults. A two-part interview about his preliminary observations of the depth of survivors’ faith may be found on YouTube as “What We Can Learn from Survivors” as Part 1and Part 2.
Miguel Prats is the President and Co-founder of the Maria Goretti Network. Discerning a dire need for a Catholic-based survivor community after having served as SNAP (Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests) Regional Director in Texas & LA for some years, Mr. Prats was moved by the story of St. Maria Goretti, St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Maximillian Kolbe. For more information, see the Maria Goretti Network website www.mgoretti.org.
Jim Richter is a practicing Catholic and a member of Saint Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jim is a member of the Hope and Healing Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago, facilitates its Peace Circle, and helps plan the annual Mass of Hope and Healing.
Char Rivette, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director
Char Rivette has served as Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center’s Executive Director since 2009. In addition to overseeing the operations of the not-for-profit entity, she facilitates the Multidisciplinary Leadership Team housed at ChicagoCAC, which includes members of Chicago Police Department, Department of Children & Family Services, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Cook County Health. During her tenure, the organization has grown by more than 50 percent and expanded its building by 75 percent, allowing for expanded investigative services and support, mental health services, outreach and prevention, and collaborative partnerships.
Ms. Rivette is currently a member and past Chair of the Illinois Children’s Justice Task Force, and she is on the board of Changing Children’s Worlds, a not-for-profit organization focusing on strengthening parenting to prevent abuse. In addition, she is active on the statewide and national levels in collaborating with other leaders within the children’s advocacy center movement to advance the cause and increase the positive impact of their work.
Ms. Rivette holds more than 25 years of experience in the field of child abuse and mental health, beginning her work in direct clinical services to abused and traumatized children. Prior to her arrival at ChicagoCAC, she served as Chief of Program Operations at Little City Foundation. She also held positions at Our Children’s Homestead and DuPage County Health Department. Ms. Rivette earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Deborah Rodriguez, MD, is a wife, mother, lifelong Catholic, and pediatrician. She is a survivor of clergy abuse as a child and is now the Regional Representative of the Maria Goretti Network, Seattle Chapter, a support group for survivors of abuse.
Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti
Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, PhD, DMin, is a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse and a licensed psychologist. He holds a PhD in counseling psychology from Boston College and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Catholic University of America (CUA). He is a research associate professor at CUA and a Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. He is a former consultant to the USCCB Committee for the Protection of Child and Young People and assisted in developing the “Dallas Charter,” The Charter for the Protection for Children and Young People. Msgr. Rossetti is a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Timothy S. Ruffner
Tim Ruffner was one of the original founders of The Healing Voices, a Chicago native who moved to Round Lake at the age of nine years old with two siblings along with his parents. A survivor of child abuse by clergy, Tim now has two children and has been married for 11 years. He currently works in executive and corporate sales in cutting-edge technology.
Jennifer Samartano is a Prevention Specialist for Prevent Child Abuse Illinois (PCA IL) and the Program Manager for its Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program. She is a Certified Facilitator and Certified Instructor for the Darkness to Light ‘Stewards of Children’ training. ‘Stewards of Children’ is a prevention training that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for organizations that serve youth and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. It is a nationally distributed, evidence-informed program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors.
We Must Continue to Do More
For Parents: Be Smart
Deacon John Marques de Silva
Deacon Silva is the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. He earned his BS from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and completed his diaconal studies through Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He is currently the Director for Child Protection and Safety for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and is assigned to St. Leo the Great parish in Fairfax, VA.
Rev. Kenneth W. Schmidt
Fr. Kenneth W. Schmidt, MA, LPC, NCC, is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Portage, Michigan. He has a doctorate in canon law, a master’s degree in counseling psychology, is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Michigan) and a National Certified Counselor. He is a co-founder of the Trauma Recovery Program in the Diocese of Kalamazoo and the non-profit Trauma Recovery Associates. For more information about inviting TRA to your parish or diocese for a survivor retreat and/or training program, visit traumarecoveryassociates.com.
Victoria S. Schmidt
Victoria S. Schmidt lives in Springfield, IL. She considers working with Mother Teresa of Calcutta from 1981 to 1995 to be the highlight of her life. She has been involved with ministry with the poor most of her life and currently serves as Executive Director of Theresians International, an international Catholic ministry for women.
Broken Trust: Stories of Pain, Hope, and Healing from Clerical Abuse Survivors and Abusers (Patrick and Sue-Lauber Fleming)
Shattered Soul? Five Pathways to Healing the Spirit from Abuse and Trauma (Patrick and Sue-Lauber Fleming)
Soul Light for the Dark Night: Daily Meditations of Healing from Trauma and Abuse
Rev. Bill Stenzel
Fr. Bill Stenzel was born and raised in Chicago’s South Side, and worked at the General Electric Credit Corporation until 1971. Ordained in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1975, he served in parish ministry until 2014, when he retired (for the first time), retiring again in 2016. Fr. Bill has been an addictions counselor since 1977, supporting family interventions and family recovery work. He is currently writing about his experience applying the principles of 12 Step recovery to systems or groups when leadership has been impaired physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Thomas P. Tharayil
Thomas P. Tharayil. LCSW, BCD, is Director of Assistance Ministry at the Archdiocese of Chicago and teaches at Loyola University. He is renowned among survivors as advocate and spiritual caregiver, and has been able to develop a diverse ministry to survivors over many years. He introduced the original founders of this magazine, suggesting we produce a quarterly newsletter.
Julie (Hoffman) Tuozzoli
Kathleen Wilson, MS, has specialized in disability and mental-health rights for over 30 years. She has served as a Mental Health Advocate and Disability Rights Advocate in a variety of settings, including as the Director of Advocacy Services at the Disability Rights Center (KAPS) and as Program Director for a Kansas community residential program for persons with developmental disabilities. In addition, Kathleen as taught workshops and published widely in her area of specialty, including as a trainer for Matrix Research Institute (a National Rehabilitation Research and Training Center). With a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Kansas, Kathleen began her career teaching Special Education classes in Kansas elementary schools for over a decade and as a Supervisor of Special Education for the Allentown PA School District. She has also served as a volunteer rape counselor. Kathleen is a member of the Sacred Heart/St. Joseph parish in Topeka, KS. She is also the survivor of child sexual and emotional abuse in the Catholic Church.
Other guest writers have submitted their work for publication with the specific request for anonymity which we have respected by not listing them here.